Ai Weiwei's Fragments @ Sackler Gallery, Washington

Wood from dismantled temples finds a new incarnation in Ai Weiwei’s massive “Fragments,” on view now in the SMithsonian's Arthur Sackler Gallery until April 2013. “Fragments” explores the role of tradition amidst the reality of living in today’s rapidly changing China.

The installation was presented at Art Stage Singapore 2011 of M.A.D. gallery.

Drawing on the 2,000-year-old Chinese technique of “post and beam” construction, the installation is held together by an elaborate system of joinery whose seemingly random posts anchor a scale outline of China. Using salvaged materials and reimagining them in a radically different form, Ai highlights the simultaneously destructive and creative process that is constantly transforming the Chinese landscape.

“Perspectives: Ai Weiwei” is presented concurrently with a retrospective of Ai’s works at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. “Zodiac Heads” opened at the Hirshhorn April 19, and will be followed by the exhibition “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” in October 2012,.